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Nixon Pushes To Keep Security Plans Of Some Public Facilities Private

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Gov. Jay Nixon is using his bully pulpit to push for the reinstatement of some exemptions to Missouri’s Sunshine Law.

The Democrat joined officers and commanders from several local police departments as well as school officials to ask lawmakers to make that a priority when they return to Jefferson City on Wednesday.

The exemptions, which expired on Dec. 31, 2012, were added to the state's public records law after 9/11. They allow hospitals, schools and other public facilities to keep their security plans and procedures private. Information that private companies share with local police departments is also exempt.

Nixon says it doesn't take a lot to see how that information could be misused.

"By standing together in a unified fashion with law enforcement, school leaders and others today, we send a clear message to the Legislature that this should be on the top of the list of things to get done," Nixon said.

Lawmakers from both parties have already filed bills re-instating the exemptions. Nixon said they were "fine," but should have been passed last year.

"The bills was [sic] introduced, it was moved forward, it did come out of committees, it was part of substitute bills that in the hustle and bustle of the back end of session just didn’t find their way to the governor’s desk," Nixon said.

Nixon says a similar renewal passed without much opposition five years ago. He did not know if this effort would be any more controversial.

Follow Rachel Lippmann on Twitter: @rlippmann

Rachel is the justice correspondent at St. Louis Public Radio.